Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Parking Lot Santa - Version 1

This is called Version 1 because The Husband would like to edit it.  Since I started this blog to be ornery and funny with him, I figure I'll type out how I remember him telling me the story last week (of course using my word choice) and if it's not to his satisfaction then I can post a Version 2 that is a better depiction of events.  Maybe we could vote on which one is more fun to read! Here's my version (even though I wasn't there):

The Husband was manning the phones at Chipotle (people call in orders).  A customer calls, the Husband takes his order.  "Is that all?  One burrito?" the Husband asks.  "You know, you don't have to call that in.  You can come to the restaurant and stand in line for that." (His snarky side doesn't get the best of him as easily as mine does).

"I know," the caller replies.  He hesitates.  "I need you to bring it out to the car for me."

Intrigued and better behaved than I am, the Husband waits for an explanation rather than demanding one.  "It's because I see a lot of kids in that line." (Things do not look like they are going well).

The Husband waits for more again.

Finally, "I'm dressed as Santa.  I'm between gigs.  I didn't bring a lunch with me.  If I go in there, I'll have to talk to every single kid and I'll be late for my next event."

"Not a problem at all," the Husband responds.  Santa tells the Husband where he's parked and the Husband gets his order together.

When the Husband goes out to Santa, Santa is very gracious.  The Husband thanks him.

"You know I understand where you're coming from," the Husband says.  Santa perks up interested.  "I'm a clown.  It's true.  Those kids would have never let you out."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

I got what I wanted!  The Husband had no parties today so I didn't have to help him ensure that his make-up was perfectly symmetrical; I didn't have to keep the Son out of his balloons; and I didn't have to watch for mistakes while he practiced magic tricks for the bajillionth time.  It's hard to help a clown get ready! :D
Have a magical Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Joey Wannabe

The Son thinks Joey is among the more admirable people on the planet due to his physical comedy. (To read more about Joey's talents, click here.)  Part of Joey's act with the chair involves an incredibly powerful sneeze.  The sneeze has so much force behind it that it flips Joey's body around in the air and he lands with an exceptionally frightening thud on his back.  I don't know how he's not in constant agony due to the abuse he puts his body through.
A couple of days ago, the Son asked if he could watch my recording of Joey and the Chair on my phone.  I let him watch that part, then I took it back.  All of a sudden, I have a sneezing, somersaulting, three year old.  He stands up, "I'm Joey, Mama!"  He does it again, and again, and again.
The Husband comes home from work.  "What's he doing?", the Husband asks.
"Just watch," I say, knowing he'll figure it out any second.  After a couple sneezing somersaults the Husband whips out his cellphone to call Joey.  After a couple minutes of them giggling, the Husband suddenly says, "Hey!  If my kid ever starts trying to play with knives, it's all your fault!"
Let's hope the Son never sees Joey juggle knives again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Balloon Traffic Signal

The Son had traffic light balloons at his birthday party. He liked them, but I still think that was a cop-out. If he can make a Pink Panther and a bicycle, how hard can it be for the Husband to get creative and make a train? :D
Still, it is pretty cool.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Clown at Daycare

Last Friday, my son and I had this conversation which is slightly paraphrased:
Wife: What'd you do at daycare today, Son?
Son: Was a clown daycare!
Wife: Wow! Did he make balloons?
Son: No, not Papá.
Wife: Did he do magic?
Son: No, not Papá.
Wife: Did he tell jokes?
Son: No, not Papá.
Wife: Did he at least have a puppet or something?
Son: No.
Wife: Well, what did he do?
Son: He go away. April scared clowns.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For My Students

This story I wrote for my students and my son.  I wrote it while they were writing their own narratives so that they could better understand the process as well as identify the parts of story mountain (beginning, problem, rising action, climax, falling action & resolution).  I have changed all of the people's names in the story because I used real people's names, but the names of the elves remain the same. (Yes, the names were inspired by the Magic School Bus).

Cucu the Elf

            One Sunday evening in December, the Cortez family went to Chipotle for the Chipotle Employee Christmas Party.  They had closed the restaurant so that all of the employees could take a break and celebrate the holidays together.  Everyone was excited because there was going to be a piñata, cake, and presents at the party.
            The Cortez Family had been looking forward to the party all day.  All four members of the family were going: Mommy, Papá, Arnold, and Cucu the Elf.  Mommy, Papá, and Arnold are permanent members of the Cortez Family but Cucu is a December Member.  December Member means that Cucu only lives with the family between Thanksgiving and Three Kings’ Day.  The rest of the year, Cucu lives at the North Pole with Santa where he helps the other elves in the workshop.  During the holidays, however, Cucu’s job is to be a scout for Santa.  His assignment is to report back to Santa every evening on Arnold's behavior so that Santa can make a more informed decision about whether or not to put Arnold on the Nice List or on the Naughty List.
            Since they were going to a party, Cucu was nervous that Arnold would get excited and run off.  Cucu hated when he had to tell Santa bad things about Arnold because not only did Santa get really sad about it, but Cucu loved Arnold very much.  He wanted him to get what he wanted for Christmas.  Cucu thought it would be very wonderful for Arnold to get Cranky the Crane for Christmas, but he also knew that Arnold had to be an exceptionally good boy to get it.
            The whole family walked into the restaurant.  Papá went to set up his magic (he was going to be the entertainment) and Mommy looked around.  She was sad about the lack of decorations.  Arnold saw some kids, but he decided to go exploring instead of play with them.  Cucu followed him.
            As Arnold headed to the back seating area, Cucu was thinking about how he was pretty sure Arnold was about to get in trouble.  He wished that he could warn Arnold, but Santa had forbidden all of his Scout Elves from speaking to children five years ago in an effort to prevent another information leak such as that of the Great Leak of 2005 (ie Kids now know about the Scout Elves).  Just as Cucu was wishing Arnold would turn around and go back, Mommy appeared.  She knelt down in front of Arnold, “Arnold, you’re not allowed to come back here.  They want us all to stay up front so they only have to clean one area once the party is over.”
            “Oh good,” thought Cucu.  “He didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to do it!  So long as he doesn’t do it again, he won’t go on the Naughty List.”
            Unfortunately, about ten minutes later, Arnold decided he wanted to explore the back seating area again!  To Cucu’s horror, when Mommy then told Arnold to come back to where he was supposed to be, Arnold refused to do it!  Cucu was very sad as he watched Arnold sitting in time out.
            That night, after Arnold had gone to sleep, Cucu was troubled as he flew back to Santa’s workshop.  “What am I going to do?” thought Cucu.  “The Boss is going to be so disappointed.”  Cucu could hardly bear the thought of the tear that might roll down the Big Man’s face.
            Once he was back at Santa’s workshop, he waited in line with the other elves.  Cucu asked the other elves for advice.  “How can I tell Santa?  Arnold was already punished by his mommy.  It doesn’t seem right that he shouldn’t get his present from Santa either.”  The other elves, Eye and Nate, told Arnold that it would be better for Arnold if Cucu just kept a stiff upper lip and told Santa the truth.  Eye told Cucu, “Once, I started to lie to Santa about something Ralphie had done.  Santa always knows though.  He could tell I was lying and he started to think that Ralphie had asked me to lie.  I had to tell him the truth because if he thought Ralphie was making me lie, Ralphie wouldn’t have gotten anything for Christmas at all.”
            Soon it was Cucu’s turn to talk to Santa.  When he told Santa what had happened at the party, Santa looked thoughtful.  “Did Arnold tell his mommy that he was sorry once he finished time out?” he inquired.  Cucu nodded.
            “How long were you at the party after Arnold finished being in time out?” asked Santa.  Cucu thought carefully.  He wanted to be sure to give Santa all of the details accurately.
            “I’m pretty sure we were there for an hour more.  It’s harder for me to keep track of time when I’m with the Cortezes.  Time feels different with them than it does at the North Pole,” confessed Cucu.
            “Oh, that’s because we’re so close to magnetic north.  It confuses elf perceptions,” explained Santa.  “When you’re with the Cortezes time would feel different to you than it does here.”
            “Hmm,” mused Cucu.
            “Well, it sounds like Arnold was truly remorseful.  Not only did he say he was sorry, but he did not repeat his misbehavior.”  Santa tapped his nose.  “True remorse counts a lot with me.  I don’t think this will move him to the Naughty List.  If he continues as he has begun, he should still be able to get Cranky for Christmas.”
Then Santa became stern.  “I know you love Arnold, but Cucu, you must remember to not give in to temptation.  I don’t ever want you to even THINK about warning him again.  Breaking that rule could require a new assignment for you.”
Santa winked at Cucu’s shocked expression.  “Santa always knows.”
So it was with a happier heart that Cucu returned home to his December household.  He snuck into the house and hid behind Arnold's train set.  "I wonder how long it'll take Arnold to find me today?" he wondered.  He put on his customary smile and waited for outside to return so Arnold could wake up and they could see each other once more.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Husband's First Photo Op

On Tuesday, the Husband received an email from one of his clown alleys.  He comes to me confused. "Someone's willing to take professional pictures of me which I can then use to make a portfolio.  What's the catch?"  I look at the e-mail.  I can't find a catch.  (Isn't there ALWAYS a catch?)  "Call your clown alley president," I advise.
On Thursday, the Husband calls his clown alley president to ask what the catch is. The clown alley president gives the Husband the photographer's number.  So he calls her, she e-mails him all the photo release paperwork, and there's not really a catch.  We just can't sell the pictures for money (and we'd be paying for prints).  What an awesome deal!
So to recap: the deal was he show up with all of his different costumes, props, balloons, etc. and let this professional stock photographer take his picture for a few hours, give her a release to sell those pictures, and he can reproduce them as much as he wants so long as he does not sell them.
(Here is a link to the photographer's website.)
He had an awesome day.  The Husband said the pictures were amazing and he can't wait for them to be ready for him to download off the photographer's website.
Update:  Before this blog was published, the Husband received the beginning of his photos.  Here's one of them:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ronald McDonald Just Doesn't Cut It

We had a crazy day on Wednesday, so I took the Son to McDonald's for dinner.  While he was eating, I started examining his milk jug and I noticed Ronald McDonald surfing on the milk.
"Hey look, Son, there's a clown on your milk!" I exclaim.
"Huh???!", he says.  Then he bent his neck to examine the milk jug closer.  "That Papá??" he inquires.
I struggle not to snort, "No, that's a different clown," I explain.
He cocks his head and asks, "What that name?"
"That's Ronald McDonald," I answer.
"Oh." He shrugs and goes about his business.  Ronald McDonald isn't cool if he's not your dad.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Crazy Husband

We've been to two parties in the last week-one was a magician group, the other a clown alley. The magicians were fun-lots of awesome tricks (I can now make a cup disappear) as well as some good puns. "Be slick, it's careful out!"
The Husband's sanity, however, came into question when we were at one of his clown alley's parties. The Husband has a friend (we'll call him Joey) who is a master of all things slapstick, juggling, and make-up all at the age of 19. I see the two of them talking conspiratorially in a corner while we're eating dinner. I figure they're just planning some silly gag so I proceed to watch the Son's and my back. When the entertainment (Joey) begins, I also pay careful attention because I know the Husband must be involved somehow.
Finally, Joey summons the Husband to the front for his final act. To my horror, the Husband lies down on the floor and allows Joey to juggle gigantic knives above the Husband's body. During the show, I pretend not to freak out as the Son's in my lap and for him this sort of weirdness is situation normal, Papá's doing something crazy with Joey again. When we get home, however, I do not neglect to inquire after the Husband's mental health. "Hadn't you seen Joey drop the plastic ring when he was juggling earlier?"
"He just did that to make everyone more nervous."
Due to the plausibility of the explanation, I concede, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Joey had had to sneeze?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Consolation Prize

Ohio State lost to Michigan today, so the Husband made this fan a Buckeye Hat Balloon as a consolation prize.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

What a wonderful Thanksgiving!
The Husband wowed everyone except the Son (He's seen his act too many times to be interested when his great-grandma had just given him new trains!). The Husband did rope tricks, card tricks, and balloon twisting. The Son and I played with Sir Topham Hat and his car, Thomas the Tank Engine, Harold the Helicopter, and Tidmouth Shed.
We also went to the cemetery and did a mocha frappuccino toast to my grandpa and in the evening we went on a walk and we got to see three deer! All of us were very excited. The Son has also made very good friends with my grandma, my aunt, my cousins, and my uncle. When we played football, the Son scored his first touchdown. He thinks it is very fun to hold a ball and run as fast as you can to the other side of the yard. :D
We had a wonderful time getting to make precious memories with our family.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rough Week

This week's been pretty awful for us. The Husband's aunt and her family were detained by ICE (US Immigration & Customs Enforcement) at the beginning of the week. They have been moved at least once a day each day to jails farther and farther away so it is nearly impossible to visit them and it is really difficult to contact them. There was no dignity to the way they were led out of their apartment in handcuffs. They had been eating dinner- they didn't even get to clean up the food or anything. The Husband and I went back in right away to clean up the mess and to take care of their dogs who are traumatized. The Son is very upset as well because he knows that Mexico is very far away and he wants to see his tía. We're all very sad.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Balloon Railroad Crossing Deceased

Up until yesterday, the Son was playing a lot with his railroad crossing. He would put the signal up and down so that cars would know if a train was coming. He had a lot of fun. He even had his trains pass by it.
Then came yesterday. Yesterday, the Son grabbed the Husband's car keys and commenced Operation Balloon Destruction. He pierced each and every balloon in that decoration and giggled maniacally every time he got one to pop. Silly boy. I'm glad he's not sad about the decoration's impermanence!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Balloon Railroad Crossing

Only in our house would there be a railroad crossing made out of balloons when it's no one's birthday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I'm lying in bed, I have the lamp on, and I'm reading a book. Suddenly the bed starts to shake! Initially, I think the Husband's playing a cruel joke on me, (well, he does like to clown around) then I notice the lamp's also shaking and I can hear all of the furniture rattling. Just as I begin to worry about what to do, the shaking stops (We live in the Midwest, we do tornado drills, not earthquake ones!).
"Husband! Husband!" I shout. No answer. Thinking he's outside, I call his cell, but evidently his battery's dead. I get up and race downstairs to find him sitting at the computer watching YouTube, completely unaware that the Earth has been shifting beneath his feet. Clowns...they must only pay attention to children, gags, make-up, and magic tricks. Silly. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Fat Controller

For Halloween, the Husband shed not only his clown costume, but so-help-me-God his brown skin as well! He asked me for a picture of Sir Topham Hatt, which I duly provided and then began the transformation. Did I mention he changed his skin color?? (Michael Jackson, anyone?) The picture doesn't show it as well as I'd like, but his skin was PALE! In other news, the Son was Thomas the Tank Engine.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Clown's Wife Poses as her Husband

For my school's Halloween celebration, I was the Husband minus the Really Student Distracting Make-Up. Due to the lack of make-up and the fact that I didn't wear the hat most of the day, the kids kept saying to me, "What're you supposed to be, Mrs. Wife?" I'd stick out my foot that was wearing the clown shoes the Husband had gotten from the clown at Ringling Brothers. "A clown? Can you make me a balloon?" they'd say. I'd usually reply with, "For Halloween, you dress up as something you're not. Therefore, no, I can't make you balloons."
It was interesting how only the upper grades seemed to question whether or not I was a clown. The kindergarteners all seemed to know without asking...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Amazing Magician

The Son, the Grandpa, and I saw an AMAZING magician on Saturday. His patter's perfect. Each story is beautiful. Above all, he really understands how to work with kids.
One thing he did involved 2 children standing at the sides of a box. One of the kids decides to look directly into the front of the box. "Oh you don't want to do that," he says. Then he looks over all of the children's heads and into the parents' eyes, "You might see your reflection!"
Needless to say, being the evil, snarky wife that I am; I called the Husband soon after to tell him just how bad he looks compared to this guy. :) The Husband's a good sport. He would have enjoyed seeing this guy at work.
If you want to read more about the magician, here's his website: discoverthemagicinyou.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Festival

The Son and the Husband both dressed as clowns together and they were a hit! The Son spent most of his time in the bounce house (Noah's Ark) while the Husband ballooned to help advertise for his friend's church. Turns out the church paid us, so I feel less weird about the whole thing. Whew!
There were some good chilies; there were some okay chilies. The fried Milky Way (courtesy of the other clowns) was awesome and I had a limeade that was made with real limes!!!!
The Son was excited because he got to be in the kids' costume parade. I think he felt like a real clown! All in all, the day was a success!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wrong or right?

Tomorrow the Husband's going to be clowning at a fall festival. He'll be primarily ballooning, while the Son and I will primarily be wandering about sampling chili.
Here's the rub: the Husband was invited to do this (for free) to help a friend get attention drawn to his table for his church. Are we members of the same religion as said friend's church? Absolutely not! (especially me!!) So what happens to the Husband when the friend figures out that the Wife and the Son are not members of the faith?
The Husband's doing it for fun, to get more practice, and learn more from another community of clowns...
I suppose we should just hope they keep making assumptions about us and continue not bothering to get to know us better.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Costume-October 2011

Here's the Husband in full clown regalia. The picture doesn't show it, but he's wearing the shoes he bought from the pros. (Click here to see more about those shoes)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Clown Pledge of Allegiance

The Husband shows this to me today. His alley must say it at the beginning of meetings:

I pledge allegiance
To a world of clowns,
And that for which they stand,
For red noses and big shoes,
For rubber chickens and kazoos;
One alley, under God,
To promote laughter and
Goodwill to all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


My son says to me while we're reheating pancakes, "Papá's clown?" I look. He's indicating my Russian nesting doll who has very pink cheeks. He indicates his own. "Papá like this." He wipes one cheek. "Like this." he wipes the other one. He smiles. It's just what he does when The Husband is doing his clown make-up.
What a great and unlikely connection! Clown figurines and nesting dolls have more in common than I thought!
This sort of connection could only take place in the house of a clown's wife...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

You can do magic with anything!

For anything slightly out of the ordinary, its purpose must be doing magic tricks. Keep in mind this inference came from a two year old. Also keep in mind the house he lives in (click here to see the weird stuff he's growing up around).
For instance, the other day, I was doing laundry in the basement and the Son was messing around through our box of what I call Random Junk. Suddenly he comes up to me with a child-sized pair of red tights (perhaps they belonged to the previous owner of our house? They did leave behind a ton of junk....). "Do magic, Mommy."
"That's not magic.  They're tights."
"Oh. Papá magic?"
Taking my silence to be assent, he dragged the tights up the stairs to the kitchen so that Papá would have the opportunity to show him his new magic trick when he comes home.
Needless to say, I got rid of the tights after bedtime.  Thankfully, the Son's forgotten they ever existed.  Papá probably would have had to come up with a tight trick!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Scary Jesus at a Party

Contrary to popular belief, I am not Catholic. Just because my husband is Hispanic, that also does not mean he is Catholic (ok. He was raised Catholic. He does fit some of the stereotype.)
We do however, have many friends who are both Hispanic and Catholic.
Despite these friendships, our son has an astonishingly small amount of exposure to all things Catholic.
So, when we were at a party on Saturday, I took our son into our friend's bedroom to change his diaper. When he's done, he stands up on the bed, points at the wall and exclaims in horror, "What's that, Mommy?!"
I look at the wall. I see a crucifix. Then I think about what my son sees. He sees a man in agonizing pain as he dies a horrible death, has nails through his hands, and a crown of thorns on his head. "Oh that's just Jesus on the cross, baby," I reply, pick him up, and get him out of there!
I suppose if you were raised around crucifixes, they wouldn't disturb you the way this one disturbed my son and me, but wow! Catholicism is not a religion for the faint of heart.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Costume #1

He was sucking up. On my 17th birthday, I open the front door to a clown saying, "¡Feliz cumpleaños, The Wife!"
Somehow my husband had convinced my mother (keep in mind,we weren't even engaged yet) to sew him up a clown suit. He scavenged some clown shoes and had what I now recognize to be terrible make-up.
Apart from the make-up, the costume was not that bad. The worst part for him was when he had to urinate-he couldn't reach the drawstring around his neck so he always had to ask for help.
It's hard to be a good clown when you can't be independent about your bathroom needs.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ghost Balloon on a Whim

The Husband made this on Saturday on a whim. My son thought that this meant he could also make a train balloon just as quickly. Not so much. Apparently trains require preparation...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where's Papá? He's busy learning how to make vampires, sweetheart.

My son says today after I pick him up from daycare, "Where Papá, Mommy?"
"He's at school."
Later, "Where Papá?"
"He's at school."
Then at dinner, "Papá at work?"
"No, he's at school."
Then I get a phone call.  "I finished my test early!" gushes the Husband. "I'm going to go spend an hour at Balloon Jam.  Is that okay?"
I look at our son.  "It's okay with me," I start.
"Cool!  Talk to you later!" Click.
A few hours later.
The garage door opens.  Our son runs to do his ritual "Hide from Papá."
The Husband searches the house and finds our son to surprise him with this:
Yeah, our son is thrilled.  It's a vampire balloon (note the red eyes and green fangs) to scare Mommies with.  Guess Balloon Jam was a good use of the Husband's time after all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

99 year old clown!

Big thanks to my school's custodian for telling me about this story from The Kansas City Star. I hope we're still clowning at 99! Rock on Posie the Clown!


Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Will you be that awesome at 99?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 4

The big day has arrived. I've put our son down for an early nap so that Anissa and company can come over to fine-tune their preparations. (In the meantime, the Husband and I are both speculating about what the Colombian food will taste like. Anissa's family's Colombian.)
They finally arrive an hour late, but it's okay because there's still plenty of time. The Husband and I are very impressed with Teresa who has made an entire clown costume with no pattern at all in less than a week! She looks super.
The Husband helps everyone with their make-up, I get our son dressed, we get in our respective vehicles, and drive to the venue. The drive there is out of this world! People are waving at us, driving alongside us so they can stare at us longer, etc. It's crazy, but enjoyable.
When we get out of the car, I walk our son over to the sidewalk while the 3 clowns unload their magic tricks and balloons. All of a sudden-tires squeal as they burn rubber. A car appears in the parking lot. Being a worrywart, I push my son behind me because I'm considering the possibilities of what to do if my husband becomes a victim of a hate crime.
The driver rolls down his window and I notice some kids in the backseat. "Thank you!" he exclaims joyfully (My brain's saying, "Huh?"). "That's just what I needed today. I'd been having a bad day and needed a laugh. Thank you!" he drives off.
Now, who wouldn't be hooked on clowning after that? Very cool.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 3

That next night, I call my mother in a panic. "The Husband invited a bunch of strangers over to our house! Could you please call me tonight to ensure that I survive the encounter and am not being held against my will?"
After my mother recovers from her initial overreaction to my overreaction, she agrees to do what I request. In the meantime, I go over in my head all the things that are cultural differences between middle-class White Americans and immigrant Hispanics in which I usually offend the Hispanic by accident. I can usually explain and clear things up later, but it's easier to prep myself in advance so I don't have to apologize later. (Thou shalt accept every morsel of food offered to you no matter how full you may feel!)
So long story short; Anissa and her sister this time come over, don't murder us in cold blood, and convince The Husband to put on a show as the lead of 3 clowns: himself, Anissa, and Anissa's good friend Teresa.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 2

So Anissa is refusing to give up and the Husband is refusing to give in. I think it's a great idea-the Husband's really good at it, it'd increase his feelings of self-worth. Nothing wrong with that, right? (If only I knew then what I know now...)
In the interest of preventing a scene in the middle of US Toy's Magic Shop, the Husband suggests a compromise. Why don't they come over to our house tomorrow? Then he can loan them his clown outfit and teach them some more about ballooning.
Anissa and her niece agree. They exchange phone numbers with the Husband, he gives them directions to our house, and they leave. Meanwhile, I have been rendered completely speechless (Don't worry readers! This is me! The speechlessness is of short duration.).
The Husband turns to smile at me. His smile disappears when he accurately determines my gaping expression not to be one of awe, but of horror.
"You invited them to our house!!!!" I say a little too loudly. The Husband does a double-take. "It's ok. We still have time to clean," he responds. Wrong answer.
"But you invited them to our house!!!"
"Yeah, so?"
"We don't know them!"
"Yeah, so?"
"We have a baby! It's not just you and me you're putting at risk!!"
"What?" the Husband asks.
"We don't know them!" I explode.
"So?" says the Husband.
"They could be homicidal maniacs that you just invited to our house!!"
"They looked nice," the Husband shrugs.
Unable to believe it, I finally quote Wednesday Addams in a real-life conversation in which I had not purposefully slanted the conversation so I could do so, "They look just like everyone else!"
And no, in case you're wondering, he did not recognize the quote. My big moment, wasted. Such is the life of a clown's wife...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How it went from hobby to job-Part 1

We had gotten an advertisement about the Easter Bunny being at our favorite toy store/magic & clowning shop (The Husband and I have always been into balloons & magic tricks). I'm also a teacher, so any chance to go to this place I'm all for (it's called US Toy. Give them your business!!)
We took our son, who was 1, to see the Easter Bunny. Wow. First time US Toy had let us down. It was just a guy standing there in a bunny suit holding a basket. No hugs or anything!
So since we had already made the long drive, we decide to look around to see if there's anything new, after all, it's still a great store.
So I'm looking for ideas of what to use for one of my classes and the Husband's kind of looking but spending more time convincing our son to stay with us and not run off. As the Husband talks to our son, who is in the process of lifting up an entire shopping basket, a strange middle-aged lady with this orangey bleach colored hair comes up and starts making small talk with the Husband. She'd heard him speaking with our son in Spanish and thought she'd come ask for help.
"Where's all the clown stuff?" she asks. I grin. My husband knows where every little thing is. He's going to talk her ear off. (Better her than me!)
It turns out, the woman whom I'll call Anissa, wants to create a clown party for her niece's son's birthday but she's not sure how to go about doing it. The Husband starts to explain while I make my rounds of the store with my son. On my second trip around the store, I discover my husband's gotten out balloons and is trying to give Anissa and her niece a crash course in ballooning. The problem? The Husband's not a teacher and ballooning requires tons of practice. Both women have these horrified looks plastered to their faces while my husband's acting like he's teaching them how to open a door. Simple! Nothing to it.
Next thing I know, Anissa's begging my husband to just be the clown at their party instead of her. The Husband's startled. I'm impressed. "That could be fun for you, honey," I say. He shakes his head. "No, I only do this for fun. It doesn't feel right."
The problem is, Anissa is the type of woman who is incapable of taking no for an answer...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Clown that Never Ends

This story is about a party the Husband clowned at a couple of months ago.
The Husband does his show and gets an extremely enthusiastic response (They were happy drunks at this party, as opposed to the mean child-thieving ones, but that's another story). It's time for balloons and the line (excuse me, did I say line? I meant mob surrounding my husband) was huge!!!! To help move things along, the Husband passed out some key rings of pictures of the kids' choices for balloons. Needless to say the kids don't give him enough space, but he works with it, trying to make everyone happy.
On this occasion we had debuted a new way of charging the host, by the hour as opposed to a flat fee. So the host comes up to the Husband amidst the mob of children and asks him to stop (he'd budgeted only for $100). So the Husband starts to pack up.
The children don't leave. They continue to swarm him. I manage to pack up most of the Husband's things while he's fighting his way out of the crowd when he discovers one of the kids have pocketed one of his sets of pictures. I fight my way to the DJ, toddler in tow. "Could you please ask if anyone still has the clown's balloon pictures?" I beg. The DJ starts walking around the party asking people. I just can't bring myself to tell him I wanted him to make an announcement with his microphone not by quietly looking around.
Finally, the host gets the DJ to make an announcement and the pictures are recovered. As the Husband begins to pack his supplies in the car, the same children from the party materialize next to him! "Will you make me a balloon please?" They won't give up!!!! (The interesting part is that all of them have already received balloons and they've already given them to their mothers to hold on to)
I turn to the Husband. "It's late! It's a school night! I want to go home!!" he looks at my stricken expression, sighs, and pulls out his balloons again. Luckily it's dark out because I feel so angry there's no way I'm not purple. "We're paying for those balloons! Not the host!", I hiss. Finally, the Husband manages to shoo the children away, get paid, and pass out some business cards. We get in the car and drive off. All I can think is, "Thank God those kids can't drive yet. They'd follow us home."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Clowning is a Compulsion

So we're shopping for a new dishwasher. The salesman is extremely knowledgeable about dishwashers. As he bends into a dishwasher to explain something, the husband pulls a red handkerchief out of nothing. The salesman stands up and answers a question the Husband has. The handkerchief has mysteriously disappeared. The salesman goes into the back to check something. Red handkerchief appears again. I shoot the Husband a Look. "Must you do magic EVERYWHERE?" The handkerchief disappears. He shrugs, waves his hands in my face, and makes the handkerchief reappear with a flourish. The salesman also reappears to tell us something and so disappears the handkerchief. "I can't take you anywhere!" I say. The Husband shrugs again and smiles an evil grin. The poor salesman looks extremely confused. Let's hope he doesn't get customers like us all the time!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why Grown-Ups are Afraid of Clowns

1. Batman-numerous clown villains
2. Parents force their children to take pictures with clowns and traumatize them
3. Parents think babies like to look at exaggerated facial features that are covered with red and white make-up
4. There are unethical clowns who allow these maniacal parents to take pictures of them and said parents' screaming child
5. Batman-seriously have you seen "The Dark Knight?" The Joker is terrifying!
6. Whitefaced clowns. They're snobby about their white nostrils.
7. It's the cool thing to do. (Teenagers are highly irritating at these parties. You're not really afraid of clowns if you go tell the wife who's standing right next to him. You're on the other side of the room cowering.)
8. Batman-The Riddler has probably caused someone some sort of trauma

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Son of a Clown

Our son is a magician. He waves a playing card at you (He doesn't know that they're for anything other than a magic act. Our household's weird), sticks it behind him and shows you his empty hands, "Tada!" He also makes quarters disappear by sticking them down his shirt. "¡Magia, Papá!"
Seriously, though if it's weird to be a clown's wife, how excruciatingly strange is it that my son sees all this weirdness as normality?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ringling Brothers is finally here-Part 4

I walk in the house with my son this afternoon and am greeted by an overwhelming chemical stench. Horrified, I ask, "What is that?!"
The Husband replies nonchalantly, "I'm cleaning my shoes."
Back up to Saturday afternoon when the Husband is hanging around the Sprint Center dreaming of living the circus life. He'd told one of the clowns about his synthetic leather shoes and had asked the price of real leather clown shoes. Long story short, the circus clown offers to sell the Husband his slightly worn shoes at a steeply discounted rate. Who'd have thought clowns would be so classy?
Alright. I think we're finally done gushing. But seriously, check out these shoes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ringling Brothers is finally here-part 3

As you can tell from the pictures, the Husband did not run away with the circus yesterday. I told him I'm grateful he didn't run off because without him in my life, "A Clown's Wife" would get real boring, real fast. ;)
Anyways, check it out! Autographs from real circus clowns! Extremely cool. Let's hope my son and I will get to go eat dinner with them next year as well!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ringling Brothers is finally here-part 2

The Husband woke me up at 1 this morning to tell me how it went. He showed me his signed program-wow! He met a lot of clowns. He said he had a lot of fun talking to the clowns from Peru & Bolivia, apparently one of them is now Facebook friends with him!
He asked the clowns a lot of questions. They say they're ok with people using their acts as inspiration, but they don't want people copying the entire thing which I find to be entirely reasonable. He also asked them about raising their kids in the circus, apparently Ringling Brothers has its own K-12 school which allows them to keep their children with them. Another question he asked was what do they know about training the elephants and it doesn't sound like they know a whole lot. They did say that the elephants that are already trained are never physically punished (makes me wonder what happens while they're being trained but, but I honestly don't think these clowns know. They're not the trainers after all).
It sounds like they were really sweet to my husband and I'm very happy for him. Right now he's waiting outside security at the Sprint Center to talk to them again (I think they invited him...)
He just called me on the phone and told me, "If you never hear from me again, you know what happened to me. I've run away with the circus!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ringling Brothers Day is finally here!

The Husband called to check in after the Ringling Brothers show about an hour ago. Being a clown he doesn't seem reticent, but on the phone with his wife, he is.
"So how was it?", I ask.
"It was fine," he says. I wait. Nothing happens. The man has been looking forward to this for weeks and he is not forthcoming with information!
"Tell me more!" I urge him.
"What?" he says.
"Tell me more!" I say. He tells me about the price of the program (he bought it to have to have the clowns sign, hopefully I'll have a picture of it to upload in a couple days) and he told me he's having trouble with our camera's battery. Apparently he had a good view of the show and so would have gotten good photos but the battery died. The battery dying is very weird and disappointing because I saw him change the batteries right before he left.
I have to prompt him about my real question, what was it like to meet the clowns?
Apparently I had a misconception (miscommunication in a bilingual household? Shocking!). I thought he was going to see them before and after the show-apparently that's after. So we (myself included) will all have to stay tuned to find out how it went with the pros! Don't change that station!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Out Late on a School Night

The Husband went to his clown alley last night to pay for his ticket for Ringling Brothers. Later he went to get some buffalo wings for his dinner (so healthy!) and he saw one of his fellow clowns there. So I got a phone call a little before ten. "I was going to get it to go, but I see one of the clowns here!" I know what's coming-any chance he gets to pick another clown or magician's brain he takes. "Go ahead," I say. Do I want him to come home? Absolutely. Do I want to be the reason he missed out on an opportunity to learn from the other clowns? Absolutely not.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Such a sweet party

It's the end of soccer season for my husband's cousin's son's team and they did not do very well. So what do the parents do? They give the boys a celebration party anyway. What a great way to help those boys to not only bond as a team, but to remind them to love playing soccer and not have it always be about winning. Some parties the husband goes to have extremely conceited people who only care about how extravagant the party looks to the guests and forget that it's a party for their child not them. This party was not like that. It was sweet, simple, and beautiful. All the families split the expenses from paying for my husband to clown to serving the side dishes as a potluck. It was so cool to see my husband make those kids so happy. That's my favorite kind of party.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mustard vs. Blood

The following story isn't so much about clowning as it is about the husband and wife relationship and our cross-cultural differences (White & Hispanic).
Last night, we were eating hot dogs (they were turkey dogs, the bar-s brand)and we usually put a ton of stuff on them. I was trying to convince the Husband to try Dijon mustard instead of the ordinary kind. Even though my husband can put on make-up and make a fool out of himself in front of 100 people, he's a coward when it comes to trying new foods.
I, on the other hand, have been introduced to a myriad of things that are strange to me and I have tried them. The list of weird things I've tried includes tripe, beef brains, intestines, tongue, and pig's blood (Twilight, anyone?). Brain and intestines are really too chewy, tripe and blood (seriously all I can think about is the Cullen's vegetarian diet) are gross, but tongue is GOOD. Needless to say, he didn't try the mustard. I love him, but he's a big rubber chicken.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pregnancy Balloon

One of my husband's weirder creations:

If you look very carefully, you can see that he has inserted a small black balloon inside of the dog's stomach.  No, it's not food or internal organs, it's a fetus!
His routine begins with the creation with a "normal" dog.  He announces what it is "un perrito."  He then proceeds to create a second dog (this one happens to be pregnant) and asks his audience what they see.  They inevitably respond with "un perrito." Exasperated, he tells them how very wrong they are.  This dog is not a boy!  He points to the fetal puppy and says, "¡Una perrita!"
Later, after the show is over, someone usually comes and asks me if I also know how to do it.  Do I look like a clown???

Friday, September 2, 2011

Language Barrier

So as the big day for Ringling Brothers looms nearer, the Husband talks about it everywhere.  At daycare he sees a flier, "I'm going to go see the clowns there!!!"  The manager says, "Oh are you taking your son?" "Nah," he replies.  I step in with, "We don't think our son will be able to handle sitting through the entire show."
The Husband continues, "Seriously, you should be there when a bunch of clowns get together."
"Do you clown around?" says the manager.  (Which is still funny, even though it no longer sounds either original or clever).  The Husband doesn't laugh.  I'm not sure he understands how it's funny, but it is an idiom and English is not his first language.
"Yeah!", says the Husband.  "It's so crazy.  Some clowns are very SERIOUS about being a clown."  He's trying to point out the irony of the situation to the manager, but she misses it.  Possible language barrier.  I'm starting to enjoy myself.  They're both cracking jokes and neither one is aware of it!  Oh what a day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Link from The Onion

Click here to see a link my dad sent me.  The Onion is an extremely weird and extremely FICTITIOUS website.  They're very silly.
Since it involves clowns, I thought my readers might enjoy it.  Leave a comment to let me know what you thought of it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ronald McDonald

Here's someplace wild that my imagination went one day after a comment my husband made:
It's suburbia. Plenty of Wal-Marts (ew), Targets, and Costcos...but above all the Golden Arches. Yes, the ubiquitous fast food haven brought to us courtesy of the McDonald brothers & Ray Kroc. The popular scapegoat for our nation's obesity epidemic never mind all the other components of the Western Diet and our own free will. (This is what my brain really did. Snarky, irrelevant comments happen to everyone).
Anyways, the Golden Arches, home of the Big Mac, the Chicken McNugget, and super-sized Coca-Colas. A teenage girl wearing too much make-up is manning the counter when 3 men walk in.  All 3 are dressed in rags with a five o'clock shadow even though it's only three and each one sports a shiny red nose.
"We need to speak to Ronald."
"You know who I mean, girlie.  Ronald done done us wrong and we mean to have a little chat with him," says one of the clowns.
"Like, no one named Ronald works here," says the cashier. "I can ask my manager?"
The clown pulls out a bright red sword balloon.  "Listen girlie, we DEMAND we talk to Ronald or there's going to be trouble!"
Clown 2 says, "Yeah, Mr. Whiteface thinks he's better than us hobo clowns.  We seen him sneering at us, all fancy like with his white nostrils and white back of the earlobes."
"But I don't know who Ronald is!!" shouts the girl.
"Don't know who he is?  He been posted on all them billboards ya'll have 'round town!!!  Don't you say you don't know nothing about Ronald.  You be hiding him in the back, I reckon," Clown 3 blasts a bicycle horn in the girl's ear.
"You mean, Ronald McDonald???" whispers the girl.  "He's coming in tomorrow afternoon for a birthday party. . ."
"That's another thing," says Clown 2.  "He been stealing all the work in this here town.  Reckon we'll come back tomorrow and straighten him up."  Simultaneously all three clowns poke their red noses. SQUEAK.  The message is clear.  They'll be back.
15 minutes later at a nearby bar: (well, it's a coffeehouse.  This is suburbia after all.)
"HAHAHAHAHA!" the clowns laugh as they remove their make-up in the bathroom.  "Too bad Burger King doesn't have a clown.  That would be fun to do again!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lawn Mowing

"Hold out your arm," says the Husband.
"Why?", I ask warily.
"I need to practice my new trick."
So I hold out my arm and he proceeds to wrap a purple string around my arm. Then he (I can't tell you because that would reveal the trick and the Husband has sworn on his red nose to never do such a thing).
"You dropped it," I say none too kindly.
Exasperated, he says, "Yes. That's why I need to practice."
I turn to watch the news while he practices on my arm a few more times.
Then I notice I'm still sitting there like a moron with my arm sticking out. "Where're you going?" I say.
"I'm going to go cut the grass," he says.
"Oh okay," I say as if I know that's part of his plans (and vaguely I do).
Meanwhile in my head I'm freaking out about how I really hope I didn't miss any more important parts of our conversation. Apparently it is possible to tune out a clown!
Forgive me, hubbie.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Clown in the Quinceañera's Court Part 2

The one guy who's not wearing white is The Husband.  As you can tell, he draws a crowd.  Or as one of the teenagers put it and I quote, "He's tight!"  A ringing endorsement!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Clown in the Quinceañera's Court

What every high school teacher wants to know: how do you gain the full attention of 16 teenagers in under five seconds?
Answer: Bring a clown to class
He doesn't have to be dressed as a clown. He can just be pretending to be an ordinary magician.
Here's what happened:
Setting: My coworker's daughter's Quinceañera (very awesome party, MF! Loved the presentation of the doll, it made me want to tear up!)
The husband started by showing a couple tricks to some kids at the next table. Then he started entertaining some of my coworkers and their spouses.
Then MF asks him to show her daughter a couple tricks. The Quinceañera and her court are gathered in the hallway, preparing for the dancing. He pulls out his red sponge balls and suddenly he has a huddle of kids around him. Amazing. I should start all of my classes with a magic trick...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weird Stuff in My House-the short list

1. Rubber chicken
2. Gigantic black plastic trunk
3. Colorful plates & sticks
4. Block to walk around (see, I exercise!)
5. Random pieces of colorful latex (they're balloons! Get your head out of the gutter!)
6. 2nd rubber chicken
7. Aluminum-free baking powder
8. Gigantic tie
9. Robotic chicken that dances to "The Chicken Dance" and screams in a chicken-like way if you grab it by the head
10. Happie Amp (I did not make the name up! It's really called that!)
11. Circus coloring book
12. Plastic cups
13. Magician table
14. Slinky snake in dire need of recapitation (I would like to go down in history as the one who coined that term. What can I say? I covet glory.)
15. Eyeball that glows when you hit/bounce it

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ringling Bros!

The Husband is very excited because Ringling Brothers Circus is coming to town in a couple weeks and his clown alley gets to do something very special.  They're going to get to take the Ringling Bros clowns out grocery shopping after the show!  (This of course means they get to pick the professional clowns' brains for free).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ringing in My Ears

Summer 2010
Clank clank. Toss turn. Start to return to sleep. Eyes close. Clink Clank. Ohh. Clinkety clank. Toss turn. Put pillow on head. Clink clank. It won't go away! Clinkety CLANK! It's getting louder. The Husband charges up the stairs. Needless to say, it's very late.
He turns on my lamp and holds up a bunch of metal rings. "Look at my new trick. Tell me if you see me mess up."
I watch, bleary-eyed. He does pretty well. I can't figure out how he does it, but then I am half asleep...
"Very cool," I say, "but practicing that trick at night is now against the law."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shot in the Dark

This story takes place about a year and a half ago when The Husband was just starting out as a clown.

Bang! I sit straight up in bed. After midnight. I think to myself, "It finally happened. The gangbangers have finally come to my neighborhood. I knew that graffiti in the park was a bad sign."
Bang! "Oh my God, it's coming from downstairs!" I froze. The Husband's not in bed. I need to get the baby, get out, and call the police. But how will I save The Husband?
Bang! Wheesh! "Oh man!" says The Husband.
"Really?" I think.
"Get up here and come to bed! You've got work in the morning!" I holler. "And could you please refrain from practicing ballooning while I'm sleeping from now on?"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hazards of the Job

So I'm usually dj at the parties. I'm trying to eat the food so as not to offend the host, ensure that the music playing is appropriate for the current act, and keep my 2 year old quiet (no easy task as any mother will tell you). I'm also supposed to be extra friendly with the guests when the party is for my husband's cousin.
So I'm choking down food so as not to offend (I already ate a lot so I am full! It's not an insult!) when out of the corner of my eye, I see my husband blowing up a white balloon. Ah. The wedding ring trick. Magically reappears inside the balloon. Extremely clever. Next he's going to pop the balloon so the kid can see it's really the ring. I put another spoonful in my mouth when I hear metal slap the ground. Then I feel a sharp stinging pain right below my eye. Then, I look in my lap and spy a gold circular object.
Yep. That's right people. He almost shot my eye out-with a wedding ring (ok, it's a decoy in case we lose it, but it's what the audience believes that matters). Ouch. I look at my aunt-in-law and say, "That's why he has insurance."